Retiree villages get old shoulder

WHILE the dream of retiring early is as strong as ever, the desire to relocate to a so-called retirement village and the company of others of a certain age is on the wane.

WHILE the dream of retiring early is as strong as ever, the desire to relocate to a so-called retirement village and the company of others of a certain age is on the wane.

Once the average age of entering a "retirement community" was 69 but healthier lifestyles have now pushed that out to closer to 80.

According to retirement property specialist FKP Property, this has meant a switch from the idealised view of retirement living a vibrant estate sometimes adjoining a golf course to that of aged and assisted care.

Where once retirees would be happy to sell the larger family home and move to a village to enjoy the end of their lives surrounded by a like-minded aged group, they are now staying put and waiting until they need full-time care.

FKP Property's chief executive Peter Brown said yesterday that there had been a structural shift in the retirement living industry and Australia needed to adapt.

"What is happening is there is a phenomenal change coming through in retirement. What we are seeing is that not long ago the average age of entry into a retirement village was about 69," Mr Brown said.

"That is because everyone is healthier, everyone is living longer. So what we're seeing is the model adjusting for that greater level of health."

He said that with the later entry age, there was a much greater need for services to be provided when people entered the homes.

"Now, as everyone lives longer, what's going to come through is the frailties.

"So retirees are going to need more services. I believe what you are going to see in the next couple of years is a massive revolution in terms of the retirement business."

FKP is one of the biggest retirement home managers and developers in the country, along with Stockland and Mirvac.

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